Peanut butter and jelly. Cookies and milk. Wine and chocolate. Some things are just better together! Now, I am (and will always be) a big proponent of the “drink what you like while you eat what you like” movement. Even so, it’s a fact that pairing certain foods with the right wine can enhance both to create an elevated experience (and vice versa).
For example, eat a spicy Thai dish while drinking a Cabernet. The richness and tannins in the Cab will turn bitter and amplify the heat of the dish, making it less desirable. However, enjoy the same dish with a chilled Riesling and it is completely harmonious! The slight sweetness helps to cut the heat and accentuate the herbs and spices.
The same principle applies to different varieties of chocolate. Now that Valentine’s Day is upon us, let’s take a look at some delectable wine and chocolate pairings.
Due to the high sugar and fat content in white chocolate, we need to match that intense sweetness with an equally sweet wine. Ice Wine and Moscato D’Asti are perfect for this.
Inniskillin Riesling Ice Wine – $79.99
Plumeria Moscato D’Asti – $12.99
Not quite dark, not quite white. A red is perfect here, but we don’t want something too aggressive. A Sweet Cream Sherry or a light Pinot Noir are great choices.
Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry – $14.99
Conveyance Pinot Noir – $24.99
Now is the time for something a bit more robust. We’re looking for a wine that can go head to head with intense dark chocolate. My favorite pairing here is a Tawny Port or a rich Zinfandel.
Taylor Fladgate 10yr Tawny Port – $31.99
Wind Storm Zinfandel Lodi – $14.99
What to pair with an already perfect pairing? I find something effervescent helps to cut the sweetness of the caramel while still holding up to the chocolate. A slightly sweet bottle of bubbly is in order here.
Cielo D’or Semi Seco – $10.99
Dulcis Brachetto – $17.99
Peanut Butter Chocolate
My personal favorite! This pairing can be a little tricky. We want a bottle that brings out the nuttiness of the peanut butter. I love a bold and oaky Chardonnay for a white, or a spicy Shiraz for a red option.
Trione Chardonnay – $34.99
Sinful 8 Shiraz – $12.99
Now get out there and get to pairing. Cheers!